I am sorry to report that I didn't find the characters in Maeve Binchy's Nights of Rain and Stars to be very interesting or engaging. In fact, the word that kept coming to mind was 'Losers'. I am sure they will all be redeemed by the last page, but I won't be around to see it.
Basically, there are five travelers - three traveling alone and one couple - strangers to one another and all from different countries who find themselves together in a hilltop taverna in the Greek village of Aghia Anna in time to witness the not-very-dramatically-described explosion of a tourist boat that kills twenty-four people including four from the village.
Around the table we have two women who have not made very good romantic choices. One, a confident, smart broadcast journalist, is running away from her choice; the other, the sweet, shy one, is traveling with her choice of lover and before page 60 he winds up in the village jail for assaulting her. One young man is running away from his father's expectations that he will follow in the family business only the son is not enticed by business nor is he motivated by money (although he doesn't seem to mind spending the money his father has made). A fourth fellow, an American professor on sabbatical, has left behind his son, his ex-wife and her new husband.
I was warned by commenter Joyce in KS that this was not one of Ms. Binchy's best. I believe her. This is the first book by this popular author that I have tried and maybe I will give her a second chance. It is one I bought recently at The Village Bookstore in Missouri and I thought I might enjoy it because of the foreign setting. I was wrong.
Anyway, by page 65 I decided I had had enough and now have moved on to reading another find, Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, by my darling P.G. Wodehouse. I need a good laugh after all the angst in Nights of Rain and Stars.
I think Ms. Binchy should have named it Nights of Pain and Stares.